24 Dec 2007

Sorry for the lack of updates, things are happening, just slowly. Received the uprights and the steering rack, parts needed before suspension design can start. I also need to choose tires and wheel sizes… not necessarily buying them yet (like I did with Kimini, and have the tires harden for 10 years, but I digress) but a size is needed as they’re part of the overall suspension design. I’m currently deciding between 15″, 16″, and 17″, since I’ve given up finding 13″ street tires.

Started reading up on potential drivetrains; I’m pretty sure I know which one I want. It’s now a matter of finding weight and sizes, which is much harder than it should be.

Learning CAD is frustrating, to me at least. My creativity shoots miles ahead, then stands around waiting for me to use the tools in order to achieve the vision. I don’t blame Alibre Design, I’m just too dumb to know how to use it yet. I don’t have the luxury of using Alibre at work (or any CAD for that matter) so it’s taking a long time to learn.

Instead of making drawings of every tube, there will be one fully dimensioned master drawing. The reasoning is: because metal moves when welded, and tubes are never cut exactly the correct length, exact dimensions are useless. If “Tube 63″ is specified to be exactly 12.48574532″ long, with a 43.2 degree angle, but the space it’s supposed to fit into is physically 12.5” and 45 degrees (due to cut errors and welding distortion), what good are tube drawings? Said another way, having one master drawing means that <i>target</i> dimensions are given, not exact hard numbers. This makes it clear to the builder that while the values are <i>theoretically</i> exact, it’s very likely that the space it’s to fit in won’t match the drawing exactly. That’s okay, and it tells the builder that he can, if he wishes, correct the error then, make up for it later, or just not worry about the slight inaccuracy.

Over the break I plan to clean the garage, as boxes have been creeping onto the floor over the last couple years. Freeing up room gives extra space for, oh, new things. Where Kimini’s going to park once construction starts is something that’ll be dealt with then.

Merry Christmas everyone! Oh, and I have a name for the new car: MidLana. Mid because it’s mid engine, and Lana is our granddaughter’s name. I like the sound of it, and it’s unique on the Interweb… it’ll just take a while before people can remember it off the top of their heads. Hopefully – this time – the car will be done before she’s 10 years old!

2 Dec 2007

Create project weblinks and screens. Starting in on learning CAD… it’s going to take me a long time since I have so little time after work (long work days again.) That’ll improve after mid-December.

What’s happened so far? Lots of thinking, in fact it’s all designed in my head except for styling details. Bought suspension uprights; they’re the first parts needed since everything depends upon the outboard pickup points. As said elsewhere, the plan is to get the entire design into CAD before anything expensive is ordered, unlike last time where I did it the other way round! It was an expensive lesson, buying the engine first so I could design the car around it, but because the car wasn’t done for 10 years the engine sat in the garage, depreciating the entire time – lesson learned. I already have my eye on a drivetrain, but it’s too expensive right now, but hopefully after the design’s all ready (maybe even after the chassis is designed) the price will have dropped.